Pollution limit integrity intact but mixed news in budget savings Media Release

Jul 16, 2013 - 12:46pm

The Climate Institute said today that shifting early to place an independently advised limit on the carbon pollution from major industries must be calibrated with Australia’s national climate interest. 

“Moving early to place a limit on pollution offers an opportunity to align with Australia’s domestic policy settings with our national climate interest,” said John Connor, CEO of The Climate Institute. 

“This limit, which will be informed by advice from the Climate Change Authority, should be set to achieve Australia’s fair contribution to avoiding dangerous climate change of less than 2 degrees Celcius.” 

“As moderate business groups have noted, with access to international markets, the business impact of Australia implementing strong emission limits is almost nil.”

“Setting a limit consistent Australia’s with the bipartisan supported and globally agreed goal of avoiding a 2 degree increase in global temperature is central to building the credibility of the domestic carbon scheme and facilitating global ambition. It’s also something that Australians are keen to see their nation do.” 

As  newly released public attitudes research  by The Climate Institute shows, Australians are concerned about the impacts of climate change and want to move on from the toxic debate that has surrounded carbon pricing until now. 

Climate of the Nation 2013  finds that two-thirds of Australians believe that climate change is occurring and is impacting Australia today. A majority, 58 per cent, think that Australia should be a leader in finding climate change solutions. That proportion is up 6 per cent from an Ipsos poll last year and on the rise for the first time since 2008. 
“Many Australians are worried about the cost of living associated with inaction on climate change, such as impacts on food prices and rising insurance premiums,” Connor said. “They recognise that there is an inherent opportunity in addressing climate change via investment in renewable energy, which is seen as a jobs creator and as giving Australia a competitive edge on international markets.”
Connor added: “The Renewable Energy Target has delivered billions of dollars of investment in clean energy. Similarly, regulations and market-based mechanisms are critical to overcoming Australia’s poor investment in energy efficiency, which is costing the nation tens of billions of dollars in economic growth.” 
“However, a carbon limit and price are not sufficient to reduce our economic dependence on pollution. Funding cuts to support communities on the land and businesses reduce emissions are disappointing. This is in part balanced by the two to one reduction in fossil fuel subsides to passenger transport, power stations and coal industry versus cuts to supporting low emission options.” 
“These cuts or deferrals to low carbon solutions are a stark reminder that target driven carbon and clean energy markets take us outside these Federal budget shenanigans. An over reliance on the purse strings does not provide policy stability.”  
“The Government is better placed defining clear rules for the private sector to follow and invest in low carbon solutions towards absolute emission, renewable and energy efficiency targets.”  
For more information 

John Connor, CEO, The Climate Institute, 02 8239 6299

Kristina Stefanova, Communications Director, The Climate Institute, 02 8239 6299


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